How to master being a work-at-home Mum
Being a mum is a full-time job, but just because you are a parent, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up your career. Contrary to the popular belief that becoming a mum means you’ll have to give up any “actual” work, there are plenty of successful women out there who have found a balance between their private life and their professional one. Plus, if you’ve already had a nice job before you got a child, then you probably remember the feeling of earning your own money and having a purpose other than taking care of your family – and you probably want to feel that way again.
In case you don’t want to leave your bundle of joy with a babysitter while you work from an office, then working from home can give you the best of both worlds. There are plenty of jobs that can be done remotely, and the benefits of such jobs go beyond simply working from the comfort of your own home. So, if this is something you’re interested in, here are a couple of things you should do first.
Organise your time
First things first, you need to organise your day so you can determine how much you can actually work and what kind of job you should be looking for. If you’re only free for three or four hours a day, then your options will probably be a bit more limited. Similarly, if your child is still too young for daycare, then you might have to look for jobs that are more flexible and can be done in smaller time intervals throughout the day instead of hours at a time. This is why organising your schedule and determining how much free time you actually have is essential for finding the right kind of job and being successful at it.
Adjust to your child’s needs
Regardless of whether your kid sleeps for one hour or three, try to use that time to finish your most important projects that require a bit more concentration or make any necessary phone calls without any interruptions. Another good idea is to introduce “quiet time” when they can draw, play with their toys quietly, or watch a cartoon in their room. Depending on your child’s age, this quiet time might last for 20 min before they grow restless, or it may last for an hour. Either way, you have to make time for work, and this is just one of the ways to do it.
Don’t do your housework during your office hours
You might be tempted to cram in your chores during your child’s naptime as well, but don’t. You wouldn’t do that if you were at the office, so why do it at home? If your kid’s naptime counts as your office hours, then you should focus on the work and nothing else. Moreover, if you’re a morning person, take advantage of the time when everybody else is sleeping and get some stuff done before the rest of your family wakes up. Similarly, if you’re a night owl, take care of the dishes after everybody goes to bed.
Create an office
Don’t just organise your time – organise your place as well. It’s hard to focus on your work if you’re constantly looking at your kid’s toys all over the floor or a hamper full of dirty clothes. Therefore, dedicate an area of your home just to your work-related needs – move your desk there, choose one of the many high-quality office chairs so you can work comfortably, light it up, and most importantly – make sure it is quiet enough for you to focus.
Don’t hesitate to get some help
Going back to work can be quite overwhelming, so don’t be afraid to admit that you need some help, regardless of whether it is emotional or a bit more practical. Look for support groups and talk with mums who are going through the same thing. There are many women out there who would love to share their experiences and tips with you. For example, they can help you overcome the sadness of separating from your child during your work time, or they may even recommend a good babysitter who can take your kid off your hands for a couple of hours when needed.
Include your significant other in the process as well – have them prepare dinner from time to time, take the kids to the park, or entertain the children before bed so you can focus on your work. It takes a village to raise a child, so don’t hesitate to ask your own “village” for a bit of support when needed.
Working from home is not always easy, and sometimes, it can be less convenient than you might think. However, as long as you manage to organize your time, find the right kind of job that you’ll enjoy doing, get a bit of help when needed, and make sure that your child is still well taken care of, it can turn out to be the most rewarding job in the world.